A compound found in olive-skin pomace can protect against colon cancer, according to a new study.
The research team from University of Granada and the University of Barcelona have shown that treatment with maslinic acid, a triterpenoid compound isolated from olive-skin pomace can inhibit cell proliferation and cause apoptotic death in colon-cancer cells.
Chemopreventive agents of a natural origin, often a part of our daily diet, may provide a cheap, effective way of controlling such diseases as cancer of the colon.
Various studies have shown that triterpenoids hinder carcinogenesis by intervening in pathways such as carcinogen activation, DNA repair, cell cycle arrest, cell differentiation and the induction of apoptosis in cancer cells.
Triterpenoids are compounds present in a wide range of plants used in traditional medicine and known to have antitumoral properties.
Low concentrations of maslinic acid are to be found in plants with medicinal properties, but its concentration in the waxy skin of olives may be as high as 80pct.
Scientists suggest that this could be a useful new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of colon carcinoma.